Update: All Broadway productions have been suspended through April 12.
On Broadway, the show will go on — at a discount. Beginning at noon on March 12, all remaining tickets to the popular Broadway shows “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “West Side Story,” “The Lehman Trilogy,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “The Book of Mormon” will be sold for $50 a piece in a bid to get audiences to the theater.
While concerns about coronavirus continue to mount, producer Scott Rudin stressed that theaters remain steadfast. “As long as New York City is open for business, its beating heart remains the Broadway stage,” Rudin said in a statement. He added that the discounted tickets represent an “unprecedented opportunity” for patrons to “see a show that they otherwise might not have had easy and affordable access to.”
“I can’t pretend that great theater is the panacea we’ve been waiting for, but in the meantime I think we could all use a few hours away from the evening news,” Rudin said.
On Monday, the Broadway League reiterated that productions plan to stay open. “The safety and security of our theatergoers and employees is our highest priority,” the trade association said in a separate statement. “We are following the lead of our city, state and federal elected officials as we implement strategies recommended by public health authorities and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in all of our theaters and offices as all productions continue to play as scheduled.”
The Broadway League announced last week that they have implemented strategies to aid sanitation efforts — such as increasing the frequency of disinfecting public and backstage areas, in addition to providing more alcohol-based sanitizer dispensers in the lobbies of theaters. The group advises patrons who are sick to stay home and to contact their box office for ticket refunds or exchanges.
Some productions are also taking extra precautions. “Hadestown,” for example, has eliminated stage door greetings as a preventative measure against the spread of coronavirus.
“In light of current global events and following recommendations from the Broadway League, ‘Hadestown’ has elected to follow common sense health practices as a precautionary measure for the next 30 days,” the production said in an announcement. “These measures are being implemented for the health and wellbeing of everyone at the theater. We wish to express our deepest appreciation to the fans of ‘Hadestown’ for understanding that there will be no cast at the stage door during this period and look forward to resuming normal stage door activities when we are able.”
Though the effects of coronavirus on this week’s sales remains to be seen, recently released data from the Broadway League indicated that audiences were still packing houses last week, with 253,453 patrons in attendance (a number slighter higher than the previous week).
On Saturday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared a state of emergency for New York, allowing for expedited purchasing of test supplies and other measures. The governor announced this morning that there are now a total of 173 cases confirmed statewide, including 36 in New York City.